Accused getaway driver acquitted in death of Officer Figoski - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Accused getaway driver acquitted in death of Officer Figoski

Posted: Updated:
Police Officer Peter Figoski Police Officer Peter Figoski

The man suspected of driving the getaway car in a botched robbery where a New York City police officer died has been cleared of all charges.

A jury acquitted Michael Velez of burglary and murder Wednesday in the death of Police Officer Peter Figoski, who was killed December 12, 2011, by a single shot to the head.

Prosecutors said Velez and four others plotted the robbery the night before, and were interrupted by officers.

Velez testified in his own defense and said he thought he was just giving the men a ride.

The verdict dumbfounded the police department as well as the union that represents uniformed officers.

"When juries fail to comprehend the monstrous scale of a police officer's murder, they fail society itself. God help us if other gunmen and their getaway drivers take comfort in these verdicts because when a police officer is murdered society at-large is struck a mortal blow," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement. "It's shameful that the family of Peter Figoski must be crushed again by another incomprehensible verdict."

The union echoed that sentiment.

"This jury did not exhibit an ounce of the courage that Peter Figoski showed time and time again during his life as a police officer. This is a devastating verdict for all police officers and for the Figoski family," PBA president Patrick Lynch said. "We are deeply disappointed that the jury completely disregarded the role that the defendant played in the death of a brave police officer. While Peter's tragic death brought our city together, today, this jury let the entire city down."

Gunman Lamont Pride was convicted of murder earlier this week but was acquitted of a more serious murder charge that he intentionally killed the officer. He faces 25 to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 28.

--AP/WNYW

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:03 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:03:52 GMT
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.  Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.  Sixteen percent of adult New Yorkers smoked in 2013, up from 14 percent in 2010, which was the city's lowest recorded rate, according to the findings released by New York City's Department of Health.
  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • NJ, NY officials meet about security

    NJ, NY officials meet about security

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:50:11 GMT
    With new concerns about home grown terrorism becoming more urgent, city and state officials -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to devise new strategies. NYPD counterterrorism police stood watch outside the Midtown Manhattan meeting where city, state and federal law enforcement officials coordinated their new security plans.
    With new concerns about home grown terrorism becoming more urgent, city and state officials -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to devise new strategies. NYPD counterterrorism police stood watch outside the Midtown Manhattan meeting where city, state and federal law enforcement officials coordinated their new security plans.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices